A billion high myopes in the world by 2050

Half the world’s population will be short-sighted – myopic – by 2050, with up to one-fifth of them – one billion – at a significantly increased risk of blindness if current trends continue, says a study published in the journal Ophthalmology.

The number with vision loss from high myopia is expected to increase seven-fold from 2000 to 2050, with myopia to become a leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide.

The rapid increase in the prevalence of myopia globally is attributed to, “environmental factors, principally lifestyle changes resulting from a combination of decreased time outdoors and increased near work activities, among other factors,” say the authors from Brien Holden Vision Institute…

The findings point to a major public health problem, with the authors suggesting that planning for comprehensive eye care services are needed to manage the rapid increase in high myopes (a five-fold increase from 2000), along with the development of treatments to control the progression of myopia and prevent people from becoming highly myopic.

“We also need to ensure our children receive a regular eye examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, preferably each year, so that preventative strategies can be employed if they are at risk,” said co-author Professor Kovin Naidoo…“These strategies may include increased time outdoors and reduced time spent on near based activities including electronic devices that require constant focussing up close…”

Pay attention, folks. I think most geeks will get it. We tend to research every bloody thing we do out of force of habit. But, everyone else moving into the digital age needs to become self-conscious about this aspect of their health.

One thought on “A billion high myopes in the world by 2050

  1. Hope says:

    “New transplant technique restores vision in mice” https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/r-ntt010517.php Retinal degeneration is mostly a hereditary disease that is characterized by the death of photoreceptors–the light-sensitive neurons in the eye–which eventually leads to blindness. While many have attempted to treat the disease through retinal transplants, and some have shown that transplanting graft photoreceptors to the host without substantial integration can rescue retinal function, until now, no one has conclusively succeeded in transplanting photoreceptors that functionally connect to host cells and send visual signals to the host retina and brain.
    The team led by Masayo Takahashi studied this problem using a mouse model for end-stage retinal degeneration in which the outer nuclear layer of the retina is completely missing. This is an important issue because in clinical practice this type of therapy would most likely target end-stage retinas in which of the photoreceptors are dead and the next neurons up the chain do not have any input.

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